View Full Version : Warnock: As Stressful As A "School Break"

11-04-2008, 07:06 PM
Neil Warnock believes that Palace's promotion challenge is about as stressful as being on a school holiday.

The Eagles boss was expecting a long slog against the drop when he took charge six months ago.

But Palace are in sixth spot going into tomorrow's home encounter against Scunthorpe - and Warnock feels the drastic change in fortunes has kept at bay any pressure his men may have felt.

"We're taking it almost as if we're on a break from school and having a day out every week," he said. "It's that kind of atmosphere - there's very little pressure. I don't feel any pressure and neither do the players.

"In fact, if I was one of the players I would want to be on the pitch, the way we're playing at the moment.

"The rewards for promotion are so high that there's more nerves than usual. But when you come into a situation like I did where, within a few weeks we were second from bottom, you get to this position and just enjoy it.

"When I came here and we feel to second bottom we knew that if we didn't start winning it could affect the whole club's future. That's pressure.

"Whereas at the top end the only thing you can miss out on is the play-offs, so it's not the end of the world.

"We're miles away from promotion but it would be fantastic if we did make it and we'll give it our best shot. If the season finished tomorrow I'd pat the players on the back, thank them and tell them they've done very well.

"To have got where we are without Scott Sinclair and Victor Moses has been a great achievement. And now they are here it is like having the icing on the cake.

"It was a good time to get those players in. The squad's been lifted and you can see them in training.

"If you're a football amn and look at the league table and wage bills you would think that, apart from Bristol City, we are massive underdogs.

"I also look at teams who aren't going to get into the play-offs. There's some massive teams - one of which will get relegated.

"In my first six games I thought we might have been one of those getting relegated - if I'm honest. It just shows you what football's like."

Warnock has revealed his pre-match instructions for the win at Stoke on Monday night - one of Palace's best of the season - and he wants the same attitude against relegation-threatened Scunthorpe, one of his former teams, at Selhurst Park tomorrow.

"Every game is a must-win for us," he said. "I said to the players before the Stoke game, but not to the media, that we had to surprise them and go for the win - which we did. And we have to do the same on Saturday and then the following Saturday and so forth.

"Until we haven't got a mathematical chance of getting into the play-offs we have to give everything.

"Some of the fans will get carried away but when you look at all of our home performances we haven't battered anybody. We did well against Barnsley but Blackpool were unfortunate not to beat us.

"Since we've got Scott, Victor and Sean Scannell on fire it does give us other options. So we will be having a go at it but I'd be happy with us playiung very poorly and winning 1-0.

"When we played at scunthorpe earlier this season it was one of my first games. We could have won it at the end but they had opportunities to beat us.

"I don't think they've had a particularly poor season. They've done reasonably well in the league and they're full of giants. They have done excellent and the lads will gain from the experience.

"If they go down, which it does look like, I'm sure they'll come back.

"The board will persevere with the manager Ian Adkins, which is good, and they will have only grown from the experience of being in the Championship.

"It's a good test for us. They're a northerhn side who will have some gumption and will make it as difficult as they can and that's why we've got to be on our toes and I hope we get a good crowd.

"The lads deserve it after the other night and I hope they turn up and are loud."

Moses looks set to retain hi splace in the side despite limping off in the 1-0 win at the Britannia stadium with an ankle injury.

The teenager's recovery has been boosted by time spent in an oxygen chamber. James Scowcroft, meanwhile, is likely to be absent for another two weeks with a hamstring injury.